HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of…
Loading...

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great… (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Timothy Egan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7301412,158 (4.17)446
Member:gsullaway
Title:The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
Authors:Timothy Egan
Info:Mariner Books (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 340 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan (2006)

  1. 40
    The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Similar themes: pioneers and farmers facing the wrath of nature in middle America; relatively compelling pop history.
  2. 20
    Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: A story of immigrant prairie homesteaders in Canada during the 1930's. Tough times.
  3. 10
    Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s by Donald Worster (eromsted)
  4. 10
    Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect That Shaped the American Frontier by Jeffrey A. Lockwood (sjmccreary)
    sjmccreary: another overwhelming hardship for farm families in the plains - also very readable
  5. 00
    Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery (lbeaumont)
  6. 00
    Harpsong by Rilla Askew (GCPLreader)
  7. 01
    Bad Land: An American Romance by Jonathan Raban (etxgardener, RidgewayGirl)
    etxgardener: If you liked The Worst Hard Time, your love Bad Land which describes the same ezperience in the northern plains.
    RidgewayGirl: A different part of the country, but a similar tale of immigrant farmers and enormous determination.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 446 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
A great way to learn about the great dust bowl, what led up to it, and what might be done to avoid a similar catastrophe, not that we are ever all that good about learning from our mistakes. I bought this book for my husband, and we both enjoyed reading it. Not a fun book, very sobering and sad. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
I for one would not have wanted to live through Black Sunday. An engrossing read. Breathing must have been very difficult. I wonder how many eventually died of lung related disorders. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
Amazing how things coincided to create this incredible man made environmental disaster. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
I'm giving this five stars because, besides The Jungle, it is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read on American history. I only wish they would have taught us more about this subject in high school and in such an interesting fashion. What a disastrous time in history which went hand in hand with the Great Depression. The "dusters" went on for almost 10 years and destroyed the Great Plains region of our country. One event was referred to as Black Sunday, "April 14, 1935, day of the worst duster of them all. The storm carried twice as much dirt as was dug out of the earth to create the Panama Canal. The canal took seven years to dig; the storm lasted a single afternoon. More than 300,000 tons of Great Plains topsoil was airborne that day." The photos in this book are horrendous, unbelievable, but true. I cannot praise this author enough; I intend on reading another of his books called Breaking Blue which has received really good reviews as well. Please read tihis book if you are a lover of American history. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
I'm giving this five stars because, besides The Jungle, it is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read on American history. I only wish they would have taught us more about this subject in high school and in such an interesting fashion. What a disastrous time in history which went hand in hand with the Great Depression. The "dusters" went on for almost 10 years and destroyed the Great Plains region of our country. One event was referred to as Black Sunday, "April 14, 1935, day of the worst duster of them all. The storm carried twice as much dirt as was dug out of the earth to create the Panama Canal. The canal took seven years to dig; the storm lasted a single afternoon. More than 300,000 tons of Great Plains topsoil was airborne that day." The photos in this book are horrendous, unbelievable, but true. I cannot praise this author enough; I intend on reading another of his books called Breaking Blue which has received really good reviews as well. Please read tihis book if you are a lover of American history. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
The Worst Hard Time," takes the shape of a classic disaster tale. We meet the central characters (the "nesters" who farmed around the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles); dire warnings (against plowing) are voiced but ignored; and then all hell breaks loose. Ten-thousand-foot-high dust storms whip across the landscape, choking people and animals, and eventually laying waste to one of the richest ecosystems on earth.
Racing at 50 miles an hour, the Dust Bowl storms of the 1930's blasted paint off buildings; soil crushed trees, dented cars and drifted into 50-foot dunes. Tsunamis of grasshoppers devoured anything that drought, hail and tornadoes had spared. To the settlers, "it seemed on many days as if a curtain were being drawn across a vast stage at world's end." Families couldn't huddle together for warmth or love: the static electricity would knock them down. Children died of dust pneumonia, and livestock suffocated on dirt, their insides packed with soil. Women hung wet sheets in windows, taped doors and stuffed cracks with rags. None of this really worked. Housecleaning, in this era, was performed with a shovel.

 
On April 14, 1935, the biggest dust storm on record descended over five states, from the Dakotas to Amarillo, Texas. People standing a few feet apart could not see each other; if they touched, they risked being knocked over by the static electricity that the dust created in the air. The Dust Bowl was the product of reckless, market-driven farming that had so abused the land that, when dry weather came, the wind lifted up millions of acres of topsoil and whipped it around in "black blizzards," which blew as far east as New York. This ecological disaster rapidly disfigured whole communities. Egan's portraits of the families who stayed behind are sobering and far less familiar than those of the "exodusters" who staggered out of the High Plains. He tells of towns depopulated to this day, a mother who watched her baby die of "dust pneumonia," and farmers who gathered tumbleweed as food for their cattle and, eventually, for their children.
added by kthomp25 | editThe New Yorker
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Between the earth and that sky I felt erased, blotted out. -- Willa Cather
Dedication
To my dad, raised by his widowed mother during the darkest years of the Great Depression, four to a bedroom. Among the many things he picked up from her was this skill: never let the kids see you sweat.
First words
On those days when the wind stops blowing across the face of the southern plains, the land falls into a silence that scares people in the way that a big house can haunt after the lights go out and no one else is there.
Quotations
The banks seldom said no. After Congress passed the Federal Farm Loan Act in 1916, every town with a well and a sheriff had itself a farmland bank - an institution - offering forty-year loans at six percent interest... ...If it was hubris, or "tempting fate" as some of the church ladies said, well, the United States government did not see it that way.

How to explain a place where black dirt fell from the sky, where children died from playing outdoors, where rabbits were clubbed to death by adrenaline-primed nesters still wearing their Sunday-school clothes, where grasshoppers descended on weakened fields and ate everything but doorknobs. . . . America was passing this land by. Its day was done.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618773479, Paperback)

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since.
Timothy Egan’s critically acclaimed account rescues this iconic chapter of American history from the shadows in a tour de force of historical reportage. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, Egan does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times).

In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful cautionary tale about the dangers of trifling with nature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
230 wanted
3 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.17)
0.5
1 5
1.5
2 19
2.5 7
3 89
3.5 36
4 272
4.5 52
5 273

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,051,857 books! | Top bar: Always visible